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BRIEFING NOTE Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) September, 2011

BACKGROUND The CMI is a unique knowledge platform to provide technical knowledge on key issues important to the integration between the Arab world, Europe, and the broader world. The Center was launched on October 9, 2009. It is a multi-partner knowledge platform that includes a group of governments from the South of the Mediterranean—Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia—along with France, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the World Bank.


CMI PROGRAMS As the Arab Democratic Spring continues with ongoing political discussions in some countries, conflicts in others, it is clear that policy choice and implications for integration are at the center. People seek urgent, pragmatic solutions to real economic, social and environmental challenges. The CMI was created to facilitate such exchange—it can provide a greater array of services through its programs, go beyond the programs to explore new opportunities, and undertake more active outreach. In this way, a “CMI 2.0� can facilitate the creation and use of knowledge to support transformation and integration in the region. The CMI works on five clusters, with 17 programs, on the following thematic areas: Skills, Employment, and Labor Mobility (including youth issues): The four programs in this cluster tackle issues related to skills development; regional harmonization of standards, qualifications and quality assurance mechanisms in post basic education to reduce skills mismatches in the labor market; improving labor market activation policies and strengthening mutually beneficial migration management policies across and beyond the Mediterranean; and creating opportunities for young people to develop entrepreneurial skills, income generating activities and empowerment.

Knowledge Economy, Innovation, and Technology: This cluster, which includes three programs, covers areas related to fostering innovation through the active use of instruments such as science parks, technopoles, and incubators for SMEs, as well as ICTs for territorial development and poverty reduction. The program on the knowledge economy (KE) includes work on linking the KE approach with growth and employment in the MENA region.

Urban and Spatial Development: The five programs in this cluster cover areas related to strategic urban planning and cities and climate change; it also includes work on renewal of historic city centers and sustainable urban transport policies and systems. Thanks to the recent arrival of GIZ at the CMI who is leading the CoMun program, a learning network has been established to strengthen municipal structures in the Maghreb.

The four programs in the Environment and Water cluster work on issues related to sustainable natural resources management, pollution abatement and climate variability; sustainable water resources policies including water demand management, water supply and innovations; environmental degradation and health; prevention and action against marine pollution; green growth and the economic valuation of benefits provided by Mediterranean marine and coastal ecosystems.

Transport and Logistics addresses logistics platforms issues to create a regional network of specialists and training experts throughout the Mediterranean region who can be tapped by various EuroMediterranean logistics platforms.


Each of these 17 programs is being designed and implemented under the overall guidance of a lead organization, in close collaboration with other interested partners in the region. Partners such as think tanks, training institutions, centers of excellence, and development institutions, collaborate on the design and the delivery of a particular program. Lead organizations to date include the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Forum Euroméditerranéen des Instituts de Sciences Économiques (FEMISE), GIZ, UNDP, Plan Bleu, and the World Bank, who are in turn also working with a variety of regional/national partners. The city of Marseille, in addition to participating in various programs, provides the office space for the CMI, and has also renovated two conference rooms at the Villa Valmer. Ultimately, CMI programs strive to provide solid inputs for evidence-based policy choice in the region. Research, production, and dialogue of solid and communicable evidence is a primary objective of CMI programs, be they in form of tools, such as benchmarking instruments (scorecard on university governance), credible environmental indicators, case studies on success stories from the region (as for example, in education, innovation, and using ICTs for development) or flagship reports, such as the MED 2012 “Towards Green Growth in the Mediterranean Countries” , and on the Knowledge Economy for Growth and Employment in MENA. Over the past year and a half, programs have been investing in development and delivery, working with a variety of partners, and are nearing maturity. As a result, the CMI's deliveries have been steadily increasing. During October 2009 to the present, the CMI has delivered 40 knowledge sharing events, 13 of which have taken place in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Syria, as well as in Barcelona, Nice, and Rome. Consistently, our stakeholders have demanded more work across the programs. If employment is the region's number one priority, how can the programs collaborate better to that objective? How do we organize the work within and across the clusters to that effect? The flagship on the Mediterranean is focused on the impact of pro-environment action on net job creation. The KE will have cross-cutting potential. How can we facilitate discussions that help the overall debate? This was the purpose of both the G8 Broader MENA dialogue with civil society that took place at the CMI in June 2011 and the continuation of which took place in Morocco in September. This was also the purpose of the G8 informal dialogue among leading economists that began in July and continued in September. (More on this later in this briefing note).


RECENT ACTIVITIES The Barcelona Conference on Urban Development Strategies in March 2011 brought together 180 participants from all around the Mediterranean. It explored the strategic and operational ways to move forward. Building on the success of the Conference, the CMI is facilitating a series of action steps, in close collaboration with partners (Medcities, AFD, EIB) and to serve as a knowledge platform to guide local authorities on financing solutions and identifying best practices. The Conference has initiated a new generation of City Development Strategies that will be developed under the framework of the CMI urban programs. The Cities and Climate Change program assessed the urban vulnerability of the coastal cities of North Africa (Tunis, Casablanca, Bouregreg Valley, Alexandria) to climate change and natural disasters. On the basis of these technical reports, Adaptation and Resilience Action Plans were prepared to address preventive and remedial actions on areas such as infrastructure protection and upgrades; urban planning measures; and regulatory and managerial measures for risk reduction. These reports were disseminated at a regional conference that was held at the CMI in May 2011. The CMI undertook a Mapping of Think Tanks in the Region on themes of relevance to the CMI. Some 100+ think tanks have been identified, with one page information on each that identify areas of potential synergy with the various CMI program areas. This report was shared with counterparts in the region; some contacts have been made and follow-ups are underway. The events of the recent past and the Arab spring have put a welcome pressure on our work. The G8 meeting held in May 2011 in Deauville, in particular, presented a new partnership with MENA countries, highlighting the necessity of advancing trade to foster economic development. As a result, the G8 French Presidency has requested a number of activities:  As part of the G8-Broader Middle East and North Africa (G8-BMENA) – VIII Forum for the Future, a regional workshop on Transformation and Integration in the MENA Region took place on June 6-7, 2011 at the CMI.  The CMI coordinated a workshop on Social Measures for a Successful Transition in Tunisia, with the AFD on June 14-15, 2011.  At the request of the French Ministry of Finance and at the initiative of H.E. Pierre Lellouche, French Minister of State for Trade, the CMI organized an informal dialogue with leading economists of the region on the subject of Economic Transformation and Trade Integration in the Mediterranean on July 8, 2011.  Building on this event, at the request of the G8 French Presidency, the CMI organized the second meeting that took place back to back with the G8 Ministers of Finance Meeting. This informal dialogue among leading economists on Innovative Engines of Growth, Trade and Jobs in the MENA region, was held at the CMI on September 10, 2011. This dialogue brought together the Finance Ministers from both Tunisia and Morocco, the President of the Islamic Development Bank and the DG of the Arab Monetary Fund, as well as the Secretary General of the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the Vice President of the EIB, the Deputy Secretary General of the UfM, and the MENA VP designate of the World Bank. High-level representatives from international and regional financial institutions (IMF, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the French Development Agency), as well as leading economists of the MENA Region also participated in this dialogue. 4

STAFFING Staff of the CMI has grown steadily over the past years. In mid-2008, the office included 5 staff. At the time of the launch in October 2009, the Center had 10 staff; in September 2011, the CMI premises accommodate 35 staff, including from partners, such as the AFD, CDC, EIB, GIZ, City of Marseille, and the World Bank. In addition, the CMI hosts five staff from the OCEMO on its premises. The Center also remains open to secondments from Southern and other partners.

BUDGET The Center's budget for the three fiscal years, FY10-12, has grown from about $18 million in February 2010 to almost $27 million today. This includes about $9.5 million in funds from the World Bank and about $4 million from a Multi-donor Trust Fund. Partner contributions to the CMI total some $13.5 million (from AFD, CDC, EIB, GIZ, MEDDTL/CERTU, Plan Bleu, City of Marseille, ETF, UNDP, and the GEF).

GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE The CMI is a World Bank administered platform for multi-partner programs. Governance and administrative arrangements are assured until July 2012. The CMI has an Annual Meeting of Founding Members and Partners active in the programs; an Oversight Committee (OC) that meets between the Annual Meetings, and includes representatives of the Founding Members of the CMI; a Strategic Council (SC) with twelve councilors of international reputation from Founding Members, Partners, private sector, civil society and academia which guides the orientation of the work of the CMI; and a the Coordination Unit which helps to ensure effective delivery of current programs and develops future partnerships and synergies with partners. 

The CMI’s Oversight Committee meets every 6-8 weeks by videoconference, and engages on issues such as the status of CMI programs, the budget, and the possibility of secondments. To date, the CMI has had 9 Oversight Committee meetings, with minutes prepared.

The Strategic Council has also reviewed CMI's overall orientation and has met 6 times.

2011 Annual Meeting: The third Annual Meeting of the CMI will take place on November 29, 2011. The Chair of the Annual Meeting is the Vice President for the MENA region at the World Bank.

INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF THE CMI The CMI was established on the basis of a 3-year MOU which takes it through June 30, 2012. The rationale for the assessment, which will be tabled at the forthcoming Annual Meeting of the CMI, comes from the MOU signed by all members, which states that: “An independent assessment of the Marseille Center and its activities and Programs will be undertaken in 2011, at the initiative of the Oversight Committee.”


NEW PARTNERSHIPS The CMI engages with a variety of partners from the region. One such partnership is with the OCEMO Office de Coopération Économique pour la Méditerranée et l’Orient. OCEMO is an association comprising FEMISE and its related networks of economists, Anima and its associated networks of private investors, and several educational institutions. The partnership agreement between the CMI and the OCEMO was signed on June 30, 2011; the OCEMO was launched at an inaugural conference at the CMI on July 8. The objectives of the partnership are to enhance the effectiveness of economic research work linked to regional integration and private sector development, strengthen the dimension of “network of networks” inherent to the two structures, and collaborate in the dissemination of knowledge. The CMI and OCEMO therefore represent a strategic partnership for the renewal of political, economic and social development approaches to address urgent issues related to sustainable development in the MENA region. The CMI is working with the Union for the Mediteranean (UfM) on complementary regional initiatives. The CMI has interacted with the UfM team and moved forward on a structuring a technical partnership. It has met with the newly appointed Secretary General for the UfM as well as with various Deputies working on transport and urban development, water and environment, higher education and research, and on business development. The CMI looks forward to pursuing opportunities to work together on these areas with the UfM. The CMI has also recently engaged with the Amman Institute for Urban Development (Ai), a regional thinkand-do-tank with a focus on urban governance, community planning and sustainable development. Through this partnership, the CMI will reinforce its “network among networks” dimension on urban and spatial development, in line with its mission as a multi-partner platform to generate and disseminate knowledge. Some fields of common interest for cooperation include urban planning, land management, urban expansion and renewal, as well as cities adaptation to climate change, disaster risk management, and urban risk reduction. Building on the successful partnership with ISESCO on the Knowledge Economy Conference in Tunis in December 2009, the CMI is developing a MOU with ISESCO to take advantage of synergies in the area of the knowledge economy, environment and water and on urban and spatial development. Within the World Bank, the CMI has a valuable partnership with the World Bank Institute (WBI), as four of CMI’s five program clusters map directly to thematic priorities of WBI (urban and spatial development; environment and water; skills, employment, and labor mobility; and knowledge economy, innovation, and technology). CMI and WBI colleagues are working on joint activities and are exploring possibilities for wholesaling e-learning products, as well as connecting to regional urban networks. Some of these activities may include liaising with several of the region’s urban institutes (as for example, with the Amman Institute and with the urban agencies of Casablanca, Cairo and Tunis).


REACHING OUT The CMI is investing in various outreach and communication tools: 

It has a newly designed website:, including links to social media, and has also developed a CMI brochure (available in English, French, and Arabic)

It has a newsletter, the CMI E-letter:, that is issued every 4-6 weeks; nine issues have been sent out to date (available in English, French, and Arabic). The total number of subscribers to the CMI’s E-letter has been steadily increasing, reaching more than 1500 since the launch of the website.

Since the launch of the CMI, there have been 42 press articles on the CMI, including from webbased news platforms. A total of eight press releases have been developed, including joint releases with other development partners.

Since June 2011—which marks the launch of the CMI Community platform—fifteen CMI Community groups have been created. Membership is by invitation-only, and now includes some 320+ members.

CONTACT US Villa Valmer 271, Corniche Kennedy 13007 Marseille, France + 33 4 91 99 24 51 / 56 7